Hannah Lynch-McShane, our apprentice of the month for December 2016, completed an advanced legal services apprenticeship at LCF Law in Dispute Resolution. Through her hard work and commitment, she has been able to finish the apprenticeship a fantastic eight months ahead of schedule and is already looking towards the next step of her progression.
What led you to enrol on an apprenticeship?
As the cost of university is ever-increasing, I began researching different routes to become a lawyer. Given that an apprenticeship provides practical, hands on experience, a recognised CILEx qualification and a wage, I decided that the best route into the legal profession for me would be an advanced apprenticeship at LCF Law.
What did your role as an apprentice entail?
At LCF, my role is a mixture of administrative tasks such as client file opening, file archiving and preparing court bundles as well as legal tasks such as researching and drafting documents and corresponding with clients and third parties. As I have progressed through my apprenticeship, I have gained more and more experience in completing legal tasks and have used the theoretical part of my apprenticeship to assist me.
What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship?
I have really enjoyed working on client files with colleagues and doing my part to help resolve the dispute at hand. It is very rewarding seeing the case come to an end with an outcome favourable to the client.
What has been a personal highlight of your apprenticeship?
One of the highlights of my apprenticeship would have been when I accompanied my supervisor to a trial. It was very exciting to see a case I had assisted on win at trial. My clients were very happy with the result. Cases rarely go to trial and therefore I feel very lucky to have witnessed one so early on in my career.
Have you got any advice for school leavers looking for the right career path?
I think it is very important for school leavers to research their options as far in advance as possible. Often schools and sixth form colleges encourage students to aim for university without giving the appropriate recognition to the benefits of completing an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship can be a pathway to university but can also replace university entirely. It’s important to recognise what you can gain from practical experience in your field of choice.
Secondly, always have a back-up plan! If something goes wrong or your grades aren’t as good as you thought they would be, always have a plan b (and c!) to fall back on.
Finally, learn how to network as early as possible. Networking is often a self-taught skill and my advice would be to always say yes to events you’re invited to and approach as many people as possible. Networking in many professions is a key skill that, if done well, can provide you with new friends, contacts and clients.
Nick Major, LCF HR and Apprenticeships supervisor says:
“While I am certainly delighted at the news of Hannah’s award, I am not at all surprised; she is clearly driven to achieve and succeed and it’s wonderful to have her recognised in this way. The academic work that she has done has been of the highest quality and she has shown the same level of professionalism in her work within the Disputes department and our Leeds office as a whole. Hannah has been a pleasure to support through her apprenticeship and I am looking forward to seeing her career with us develop further. As a result of the extremely positive experience we have had with Hannah and all of our other apprentices, we are looking forward to welcoming new students and to working with Damar in the future”.
Jenna Moran, Hannah’s Damar trainer comments:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Hannah over the course of her apprenticeship. The work she has produced has been of exceptional quality and it has been extremely rewarding to see Hannah progress to a point where she is now dealing with some complex legal work”.